Vietnam’s parliament speaker steps down amid a corruption investigation


Vietnam’s HANOI (AP) — According to state media, the leader of Vietnam’s parliament has resigned, becoming the most senior official to do so in the midst of a protracted anti-corruption drive that has rocked the nation’s economic and political elites.

The nation’s increasing instability is exacerbated by National Assembly Chair Vuong Dinh Hue’s resignation. Less than a year after Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the former president, resigned to accept political responsibility for corruption allegations during the pandemic, President Vo Van Thuong also resigned in March.

Three top leaders have been removed in less than a year, which further emphasizes the extraordinary unpredictability in a political climate that frequently boasts of its stability, according to Nguyen Khac Giang, an expert at Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Hue resigned a few days after Pham Thai Ha, his assistant, was detained on April 21 on suspicion of misusing his position and authority for personal advantage, according to state media outlet VN Express.

The legislative leader had “violated Party regulations, and his violations have affected the reputation of the Party, the State, and himself,” according to investigators’ findings, but the original complaints did not explicitly state that Hue was connected to any wrongdoing. According to VN Express, Hue’s so-called voluntary resignation was approved by the Communist Party of Vietnam.

For more than three years, Hue, 67, presided over the national legislature of Vietnam. That ranked him, together with the President, the Prime Minister, and the leader of the Communist Party, as Vietnam’s fourth most significant figure.

Vietnam’s economic aspirations could be jeopardized by political instability as it competes to replace China in the region’s supply chain. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, expressed his desire to boost investment in Vietnam during a visit earlier this month.

According to Vietnam News Agency, which cited Ministry of Public Security spokesperson Lt. Gen. To An Xo, Ha’s detention was the consequence of an extension of the current investigation into the Thuan An Group. Earlier in April, numerous others, including company head Nguyen Duy Hung, were also taken into custody.

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